Residents of Grangetown in Cardiff are being encouraged to explore their neighbourhood through producing audio walks.
The ongoing ‘Sounding the Way’ project funded by Beacon for Wales, is led by Dr Kate Moles of WISERD Cardiff and Angharad Saunders of Glamorgan University in conjunction with Voluntary Action Cardiff.
As one of the more deprived areas within the immediate vicinity of Cardiff city centre, Grangetown has a high population of young people and therefore one of the challenges facing this community is how to engage this group in their local area.
The audio walks project aims to relate young people’s issues of identity, horizons and ambitions, with ideas of place. It is providing a voice to groups who may often feel marginalised within their community. The walks are working towards breaking down real and imagined boundaries between different age groups, peer groups, and friendship networks.
Dr Moles said: “Audio walks allow people to share their stories, memories, and knowledge of the area, empowering them as community stakeholders and authorities on their locality. Walking is an act of exploration; it enables us to access the secret, often marginalised, yet everyday textures of the city.”
Audio walking also offers opportunities for intergenerational interactions, with young people working with older people in the exploration of their shared neighbourhood. This can empower the residents of communities, making them engage with and think about their areas in new and exciting ways.
“This project has at its core the idea of engaging young people in producing audio walks about their communities, about where they like to go. The work that we’re proposing would enrol the young people not just as participants in producing these audio walks, but as active contributors, developers, researchers and producers. We want these to be their walks, something they can give to their communities” Dr Moles added.
If the Grangetown project is successful, other communities in Cardiff will follow in areas such as Riverside, Butetown and Splott. It is hoped that the walks and associated maps will be hosted on local community websites as a resource available for all to use.